Education Reform and The Economy

Now, those unconstitutional fees parents pay to their local school, they’ve decreased, or better yet, have been eliminated. Oh, wait, no they haven’t. Superintendent Stevenson has stopped purchasing high end entertainment for herself and her best friends. Oh, wait, no she hasn’t. Student achievement has become a serious conversation. Oh, wait, no it hasn’t. Enrollment is increasing. Oh wait, no it isn’t, but costs certainly are increasing. The district has had a meaningful evaluation for efficiency in spending. Nope, that hasn’t happened either.

Michael Steele, the chair for the RNC had some great words over the weekend, I like him so much more when he is himself and not this pseudo cool hip dude.

So, the question comes back to you, gentle reader. What have you done? What have you donated? Have you participated in a search committee for a local progressive candidate? Have you pounded the pavement campaigning for a genuine liberal? Have you attended town hall meetings and brought scientific evidence with you to ask difficult questions of the candidates? Have you written your senator? Have you written the president? Have you participated in a boycott of a company that defrauded America? Have you joined the Occupiers?

This is not something new – the achievement gap is perhaps the most compelling reason for education reform. But it helps to put specific faces on the problem. Would Sotomayor be where she is today if her mother kept her in Bronx public schools?

Is he suggesting that providing the tools to improve one’s professional skill-sets or spending more time with students is alienating by its very nature? Or, is it only alienating when it doesn’t come with more money?

Today, teachers live outside the community far from the neighborhood school. There is no vested interest in the community and neighborhood that their children come from. They never see their students outside of school. Visibility is a deterrent and helps to bring a sense of community. If teachers lived in the community, we would see a different level of respect for teachers, teaching and learning would be empowered.

Many of the students who do graduate don’t have adequate reading, math or daily living skills to be successful. What then, can we expect of students who leave BEFORE graduation, for whatever reason? And it’s not just big cities with notorious crime rates and a large pool of underprivileged children who are at risk. No, the problem is so widespread that no area is immune to these decking standards and graduation rates.